What you need to know for Sunday:

  • Race check-in will open at The Forks behind The Common between 7:30am - 8:15am.
  • Please ensure you pick up your race identifying arm band and draw ticket for the door prize. 
  • Arm bands are required to receive your beautiful finisher medal - handmade by Willie Mac!
  • Be careful! The river trail will have cracks and bumps - keep your eyes peeled and stay safe!
  • Post race, please pick up your goody bag from our friends at Manitoba Egg Farmers at our check-in area. 
  • We would also love if you would stick around to warm up, purchase some food, and hang out!

The Great Skate is BACK!

The Great Skate is outdoor race hosted by November Project Winnipeg that began in 2016 as a way to get Winnipeggers out on the river trail to take advantage of winter and show off their skating prowess. Every year, the event has grown in popularity and we have seen our Great Skaters come out on days colder than minus 40 to participate. We are a hearty bunch, so we dress for the weather and we lace up anyway.

This year's Great Skate will once again support our friends at The Dream Factory, a local charity that makes dreams come true for kids in our community battling life-threatening illnesses. Last year, we raised over $30,000 to help bring dreams to life for kids in our community.

These are kids like Eli. Dream Kid Eli is a 15-year-old who loves adventure, video games, and his pet cat named Kitten. In school, he is especially enjoying his ‘drafting’ class – he’s hoping to become an architect.

Eli (1).png

What makes Eli unique, however, is a rare genetic disorder called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. His connective tissue – his skin, joints, and the walls of his blood vessels – aren’t as strong as other people’s. Eli is often described as ‘extra bendy’ and is prone to dislocating joints. It isn’t uncommon for him to dislocate an ankle in gym class.

This disorder also comes with common fatigue and pain. Eli has a nap after school most days and requires more rest than other kids his age. What’s more is that Eli must be very careful when planning for his future. An intelligent and realistic young man, Eli knows his disease will prevent him from pursuing certain careers.

But none of this has stopped Eli from dreaming BIG! Adventurous Eli’s Dream is to visit Tarragona, Spain to experience the thrill-seeker’s paradise, PortAventura!

“A few years ago, I went to Canada’s Wonderland, which has some really intense roller coasters, and I had a ton of fun,” Eli shared with us. “And then, when I learned that for my Dream I could go anywhere, I decided to find the world’s most intense roller coasters!”

There is no cure for Eli’s condition, but his illness does not dampen his appetite for adventure or make him any less courageous – even when faced with a humongous roller coaster! 

And you can help make Eli's Dream reality!

Event Details

When: Sunday, February 5th, 2023.

Registration and Kit Pick-up: 7:30-8:15AM
Kids Race: 8:30AM
The Great Skate : 9:00AM
Awards Ceremony: 9:30AM 
Post-Race Brunch Gathering: 9:45AM

*estimated times based on race lengths, etc.

Where: The Forks River Trail
The registration table will be located inside The Common (Forks Market) and Great Skaters will be directed from there. Awards will take place on the ice immediately following the last race (estimated time: 9:30AM), and then all racers are invited to gather together in The Common to warm up and purchase brunch post-race.

What: We invite Great Skaters of all ages and skill level to participate. Each race begins with a mass start at our River Trail start line.

This year's races are:

The Kids' Skate - New this year, a fun and safe race for kids under 10 years of age. Little Great Skaters of all skill level are welcome to come out and give it a shot!

- The Great Skate - Our flagship race, a 6KM race on the river trail that is open to all ages and all skill levels. Prizes will be awarded for top finishers in male, female, and open categories.

Race Rules:

  • Any type of skate blade is permitted in the race, but only those with hockey or figure skates will count towards top finisher prizes.
  • Race start will be a mass start.
  • We will use the honour system and race marshals to make sure that you're going all the way to the turnaround point. If you see anyone cutting corners, please report it to the race director.

Cost: Free!

All funds raised directly support The Dream Factory, making more dreams come true for Mantioba kids battling life-threatening illnesses.


Please Note: The Great Skate will occur regardless of temperature - so dress warmly! In the event that the conditions of the River Trail are not safe for skating, this year's Great Skate will be cancelled and prizes will be awarded based on the top fundraising leaderboard. If this is the case, all Skaters will be contacted by email prior to the event with additional details.





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Become a Sponsor

For more information about sponsorship or to become a sponsor of The Great Skate, please contact Karly at karly@thedreamfactory.ca or by phone at (204) 989-4010.

About The Dream Factory


At The Dream Factory, our mission is clear: to make dreams come true for kids in Manitoba battling life-threatening illnesses. We exist to be a source of joy, laughter and hope for kids and families in our province going through an incredibly difficult experience.

We’re unique because we’re based in Manitoba – and all of the funds we raise stay in this province to help sick kids in our community and their families.

Everything that we do starts with the belief that sometimes kids deserve to get carried away. For children battling life-threatening illnesses, their dreams are what help lift their spirits and carry them to a place where things aren’t so difficult. That could be a far-off adventure, a meeting with their hero, or simply time spent laughing with their family.

The Dream Factory was built on the values of imagination, hope, and most importantly: fun. The medical experience is one filled with many tough moments, and our hope is that The Dream Factory can be a glimmer of fun during an otherwise tough time. Simply put, we encourage kids to DREAM BIG.

We rely solely on the generous support of people and businesses in our community to continue bringing dreams to life.. Since 1983, when we were founded as The Rainbow Society, we’ve helped to create cherished memories for over 900 families in Manitoba.

Our dream is for a world where there are no sick kids, but until that is possible we work to ensure every sick child in Manitoba has the opportunity to have their dream come true.

The Great Skate

Meet Our Families